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Welcome to Pooh Corner is a live-action/puppet television series that aired on Disney Channel, featuring the characters from the Winnie the Pooh universe portrayed by actors in human-sized puppet suits, except Roo, who was originally a traditional puppet. The animatronic costumes used for the characters were created by Alchemy II, Inc., headed by Ken Forsse who later created the toy sensation Teddy Ruxpin. It was first aired on April 18, 1983, the day Disney Channel was launched, being the first Disney Channel Original Series. Its timeslot for its early run was at 7 AM Eastern Time, making it the first program of the Disney Channel's 16 (later 18) hour programming day. The series was partially Disney Channel's first original series. Very few of the actors who played the characters in Disney's original Pooh short films reprised their roles here, and none of the parts were played by any of the characters' current voice actors, such as Jim Cummings. The show's title derives from the second Winnie the Pooh storybook, The House at Pooh Corner.

BackgroundEdit

The show was hosted by a middle-aged Englishman (played by Laurie Main) who would present each episode. He would relate what he was talking about to an event that occurred in the Hundred Acre Wood, the home of the Pooh characters, and then he would proceed to read from a book entitled Welcome to Pooh Corner. He would then narrate the episode acted out by the characters. The action was filmed before a blue screen, rather than using traditional sets (the same technique was used for Dumbo's Circus, another live-action/puppet series that ran on The Disney Channel). Since the show was designed for The Disney Channel before it began airing commercials, there were no breaks for commercials. As a result, the show lasted a full thirty minutes. The main story ran about twenty minutes followed by two shorter segments. The first segment was a sing-along music video featuring one of nine songs, used over and over throughout the show's run. These songs were written by the Academy Award winning Sherman Brothers who had provided the majority of the Winnie the Pooh music over the years. The Sherman Brothers also wrote the show's theme song, using the music from the original Winnie-the-Pooh theme song from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, albeit with a slightly altered tempo. The last segment of the show was a presentational arts and crafts demonstration that took place at the Thoughtful Spot. One of the cast members would speak to the narrator, looking directly into the camera, while they showed the viewers at home how to make something. When the series first started out, the narrator was seen siting in a small library. As the series progressed, he is moved into a small playroom which eventually is seen having plush versions of Pooh and his friends. The narrator's wicker chair and book are both now displayed in the walk-in prop warehouse of the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Holiday SpecialsEdit

  1. Pooh Corner Thanksgiving (1983)
  2. Christmas at Pooh Corner (1984)
  3. Pooh's Funny Valentine's Day (1984)
  4. Because It's Halloween (1984)
  5. Christmas Is For Sharing (1984)

Educational SpecialsEdit

  • Too Smart for Strangers - a 1985 TV special (which was also released to home video), where Pooh and his friends explain to people about strangers and molestation and what to do.
  • Pooh's Great School Bus Adventure - a ten-minute 16mm educational film produced in 1986, where the characters explain the importance of school bus safety.
  • One and Only You - a ten-minute 16mm educational film produced in 1989, where the characters explain about positive self-image and getting along with others.
  • Responsible Persons - a ten-minute 16mm educational film produced in 1989, Pooh and friends demonstrate responsibility and promote interpersonal skills.

VoicesEdit